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Everything listed under: anti-aging dietary supplements

  • The 5 Point Dietary Plan for Glowing Skin


    These are recommendations for a diet to support clear, glowing skin. All these foods contain natural phytochemicals and antioxidants that boost microcirculation and optimize cell metabolism. Microcirculation is blood flow to the tiny and delicate blood vessels of all organs. Healthy microcirculation is essential for glowing skin, supporting the liver and kidneys (which detoxify the body), optimally functioning adrenal and thyroid glands, maximal brain activity, and even proper sexual function. The original 5 Point Plan was suggested by Kerry Bone, a medical herbalist with 29 years of practice and the Principal of the Australian College of Phytotherapy. I took the original plan and adapted it for maximal skin benefits and to make it practical to follow every day. Use it to reduce inflammation and promote an anti-aging effect. Each suggestion below is backed by meticulous research providing evidence of its benefits.

    1. Beets contain dietary nitrates, which allow the body to make natural nitric oxide, dilating small blood vessels. One small beet or half a large beet every day is enough. Blend it in a smoothie, juice it, or slice it thinly and sprinkle with lime juice and eat it raw.

    2. Cocoa contains flavonoids that reduce dysfunction of small blood vessels caused by sugar. Eat at least 85% dark chocolate, 20 grams or 2/3 ounce every day. (Hint, eat this in the morning so that it doesn’t interfere with sleep.)

    3. Increase your intake of anthocyanins by eating 2 to 3 ounces of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries every day.

    4. Raw crushed garlic, ½ to 1 clove a day, contains allicin, which boosts microcirculation. I can’t stomach raw garlic, so I takes Garlic Forte capsules by Standard Process, which contain the allicin but don’t have the same effects on my digestion or my breath as raw garlic does.

    5. Herbs and spices, especially green tea, ginger, and turmeric. Drink 3-4 cups a day of green tea--decaf works, too. Put an inch of ginger root in a smoothie, or mince it and steep it in hot water for a soothing tea. Organic turmeric is difficult to find, so I also take a capsule called Vitanox every day, which contains rosemary, green tea, turmeric, and grape seed to provide phenolic diterpenes (including carnosol and rosmarinic acid), polyphenols including epigallocatechin gallate, essential oils containing sesquiterpenes, yellow pigments referred to as diarylheptanoids (including curcumin—which is the important part of the turmeric), flavonoids, triterpenoids and oligomeric procyanidins.

    Whew, that last bit is a mouthful, but you don't have to remember the names of all those phytochemicals. Just print out or scribble down numbers 1 through 5 and post them on your refrigerator door or in your smartphone for the next time you are in the grocery store.

  • Polypodium leucotomos (or the gold-foot fern)

    Polypodium leucotomos (also known as Phlebodium aureum) is a tropical fern native to the Americas. It has been used for centuries in Central American folk medicine, and in the last 10 or so years some real studies have been done on its benefits. There are no studies on P. leucotomos treating cough, mental illness, asthma, heart disease, or any of the other problems it has been used for historically, but it does turn out to be an excellent antioxidant for the skin.

    Taken orally every day, the fern extract has a high affinity for skin cells and works to prevent damage from ultraviolet radiation by disabling the free radicals the radiation causes. The fern extract isn't mean to replace your external sunscreen, but to be taken in combination to decrease the injury to your skin if you do happen to get a little too much sun. It decreases the number of "sunburn cells," skin cells that show actual damage under a microscope after radiation exposure. It also has been shown to inhibit the inflammatory cells that cause the redness and itching associated with sunburn and to block the enzymes that break down the elastic proteins in your skin.

    You can't sweat out the fern extract or wash it off, so it's a great addition if you're going swimming or surfing. I took P leucotomos extract for years in the form of Heliocare, but recently I've switched to Fernblock, which has a dye-free vegetarian capsule. (The Heliocare has FD&C Yellow 6.) Fernblock also has the bonus of Red Orange Complex (derived from 3 varieties of citrus) that adds anthocyanins, flavanones, hydroxycinnamic acids, and ascorbic acid--all good stuff to balance the inflammatory response and quench free radicals that can damage the DNA in skin cells (leading to skin cancer) and damage the dermal proteins (leading to wrinkles and premature aging).

    I recommend Fernblock to my patients who have previously had skin cancer and to my melasma patients. It is also a good choice for anyone interested in doing everything they can--especially in a natural way--for graceful aging.

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